One of the largest breweries in the Czech Republic is located in Prague. Staropramen beer is brewed here. We took part in a tour of the Visitor Centre, followed by a beer tasting.
In the early afternoon we could take part in a German speaking tour in the Staropramen Visitor Centre. We waited in the lobby until 5 minutes before the tour started. When the ticket office opened and we could pick up our reserved tickets. Guided tours are offered here every 30 minutes. Some of them also in English and German. Normally a maximum of 30 people per tour take part – we were the only participants!
Tour of the visitor centre
With our admission ticket we passed a turnstile and from that moment on the tour was fully automated. Lights and announcements guided us through the different rooms and indicated monitors / multimedia stations. Due to the relatively tight time frame between the guided tours, you will sometimes “rudely” pushed out of a room by the lights going out. I was quite happy that we were not prevented by 28 other people from trying out or reading something. I can imagine that can sometimes be a tight schedule when the groups are very active.
What do you learn on the tour?
First of all you will learn about the history of the brewery. The brewery was founded in Prague as early as 1869. The engineer Gustav Noback designed a brewery that was highly modern for those times. In 1871 the brewing started there and since 1911 the brand name “Staropramen” has been registered. The translation of Staropramen literally means “old source”.
After the Second World War the company was nationalised and only after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc could the company be converted back into a public limited company with the help of foreign investors in 1989. Today Staropramen is the third largest Czech beer exporter. The beer is supplied to 37 countries, but the export is mainly to America and the EU.
Of course you will also learn in detail how to brew beer. The brewing process is presented very clearly and comprehensibly in multimedia presentations. Also impressive are the huge copper kettles, which can be seen here as illustrative objects.
A mini bottling line and the accompanying film very clearly demonstrate how the beer is filled and packaged. From there, you can enter a room where you can follow the beer’s journey to a particular country. You select the country of your choice and a short film is shown.
The tour lasts a maximum of 30 minutes, after which you leave the exhibition rooms via a spiral staircase.
Staropramen beer tasting
At the end of the spiral staircase you will find the “Staropramen” pub. Here you will find the fan shop and the possibility to drink a freshly tapped beer and eat something.
Our visitor pact included a beer sample. The table was already prepared and we were expected.
Four beer coasters were lying in front of us, on each of them we put the matching beer. I find these coasters very clever. Not only the name of the beer was written here, but also colour, alcohol content, number of malts and when this beer was first brewed. After a short explanation we start with our tasting.
Premium pale lager is the beer with the oldest recipe in the brewery. It has been brewed unchanged since 1871. Bohemian and Bavarian malt and hops from the Žatec region are used. The alcohol content is 5%.
The beer tastes slightly malty and has a pleasant hop note. Only later does one notice the bitterness of the bottom-fermented Pils. I like the beer quite well, but it is nothing too outstanding among the various beers I have drunk so far.
Staropramen Černý Ležák
The recipe for the dark beer with the alcohol content of 4.4% is still quite young. It was brewed for the first time only in 1997. Four different types of malt are used for the beer: Bohemian malt, Bavarian malt, caramelised malt and coloured malt.
The beer tastes very soft and full-bodied. It almost flatters the palate and is definitely one of my favourites at this tasting.
Staropramen Granát is a semi-dark lager with a beautiful ruby red colour. This beer also has a lot of tradition in the brewery. It was first brewed in 1884. With its alcohol content of 5.5%, it is the strongest beer in the tasting. However, I find that you don’t really notice it. The beer is brewed from three types of malt (Bohemian, Bavarian and caramelised malt) and is triple hopped.
The beer tastes full-bodied, the hops are mildly bitter.
The most surprising beer for me is the unfiltered pale beer. The recipe was first introduced to the market in 2011. The brewer uses Czech malt and wheat malt for the beer. The beer has an alcohol content of 5.0%. The recipe also contains added apple extract.
I like the taste, it’s a pity that this beer is not on sale in Germany.
We were able to take a lot of time during the beer tasting and also had nice conversations with the employees about beer. Even after us there were hardly any guests in the visitor centre and so we could enjoy our stay in peace.
150 00 Praha 5
The visit to the Visitor Centre was made possible for us free of charge by the Czech National Tourist Board – CzechTourism in Berlin. Many thanks!